PDA

View Full Version : OT: Which PDA is best?


ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 05:04 AM
Hi :waving:

I am tinkering around with the idea of finally getting a PDA. However, I visited the Amazon website to find one...and...came away more confused than ever.

I have never been someone that buys something first...nor do I "over-buy" beyond my "use" intentions. I don't need the bells and whistles for the sake of them.

What I want a PDA for is to keep track of certain information.
I don't need it for sync-ing with OUTLOOK, nor Blue-toothing it to my laptop.

Information I want to store in it would not be stored in my laptop.
They would hold separate information, with the exception of one or two files.

I would like to use WORD and EXCEL on a PDA, if that is possible.
I have created an EXCEL Yarn Stash Spreadsheet on my laptop that I would love to send to a PDA. I guess you know why.

I would like a PDA to accept a USB thumb drive for transfering small files like an EXCEL Spreadsheet.

Can anyone make a suggestion? What PDA would you suggest, and why?

Forever in your debt...:muah:

DQ
06-05-2007, 06:11 AM
I don't even know what a PDA is :oops:

Doublereeder2
06-05-2007, 09:15 AM
I have a Palm Tungsten E2 that is great. I think it was just under $200. I like by my PDA - everything I need is in it.

You can download Excel files from your computer. Hotsyncing with your computer is a really good thing - in case your pda crashes (like my old one) and you won't lose all your data. You could password protect the data if you don't want anyone else to have access.

figaro
06-05-2007, 09:17 AM
PDAs-Personal Data Assistant-(from WIKI) Personal data assistants are handheld computers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handheld_computer) that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years.

I really can't help you on this all that much, heck I just now got a cell phone! My DH has a Blackberry and he really likes it. Here is a website that might help you out some-if you go to cnet.com and type in PDAs, it might help in your search. Good luck!

marykz
06-05-2007, 09:22 AM
you will want to be synching it with your home machine regularly- just in case you have a total power drain or accidental data dump... (can you tell it happened to me?) I love my old Tungsten E- (a version of the PALM pilot) spreadsheet, and address book and calendar. but I'm not sure they even make it anymore! My best friend loves her new blackberry that has more computing options, but if you don't need the email/ phone aspect, it is a lot of money.

If you are just looking for a simple device- I'd look for one with lots of built in memory, a screen you can see and write on comfortably, that supports your favorite programs (excel, whatever). try to visit a place like CompUSA or Best Buy where you can look at them. I would stay away from battery draining functions like music player.

I think mine cost around US$175, plus a little more for a decent case, a few extra stylus pens, and an extra charger. (2 or 3 years ago) I like the PALM interfaces, but it is such a personal thing. Amazon has lots of good reviews of particular units. good luck!

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 02:29 PM
Hi Marykz! Hi Doublereeder2! Thanks for the input! Arrgh...yet another device that can, and probably will, crash. (If it can, it will.) I did not know that PDA's can crash.

I will take your advice. I am going to visit CompUSA, Office Depot, Staples, and the like...and give them a try. I am assuming they have demo floor models.

Hi figaro! Thanks for the tip about cnet.com! I found lots of links there and reader/owner reviews.

The thing that really throws me is this: any one PDA will have ratings from A to Z. There always has to be one or two individuals who HATE the device, and have very logical reasons for their disdain!

I appreciate the advice of others! I am also going to go back over all my issues of Consumer Reports, and get their input. They always give the straight dope.

Anyone else at KH have a favorite PDA? I hope KnittingGuy Mason sees this and comments. Well, I might have to PM him. He is a computer guy.

Next question: how do y'all store your user names and passwords?
Do you use the post-it notes? Do you use one of those electronic password programs, specifically designed for password retention?

My passwords have become very complex, and all of them are different...unlike days gone by... where one password was used for everything. Unless you like to live life on the edge, ya gotta have strong passwords...and ya gotta change important passwords every now and then. Cripes. Sometimes I can't even remember my dang username.

I would also like to keep track of my usernames and passwords on my PDA...but, if a PDA can suffer data loss/crash/meltdown...there goes that trust issue! That's one thing about a piece of paper. No one can hack it, and other than a housefire...passwords on a piece of paper can't go up in smoke.

My pieces of paper are getting out of hand. I write on the backs of my business cards and keep them in a safe place...however, it is ridiculous when I try to shuffle through them to find the password I need. I feel like a Las Vegas dealer!

Sigh. :pout:

Kaydee
06-05-2007, 03:14 PM
Hi figaro! Thanks for the tip about cnet.com! I found lots of links there and reader/owner reviews.

The thing that really throws me is this: any one PDA will have ratings from A to Z. There always has to be one or two individuals who HATE the device, and have very logical reasons for their disdain!

I always check cnet before buying an electronic. Yes its true that there are always a few people who give bad reviews for valid reasons but I figure if the majority of people like the product and give it a good review its probably good. No matter how good a product is at least one person will experience a problem with it but they are in the minority.

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 05:10 PM
I always check cnet before buying an electronic. Yes its true that there are always a few people who give bad reviews for valid reasons but I figure if the majority of people like the product and give it a good review its probably good. No matter how good a product is at least one person will experience a problem with it but they are in the minority.

Yes, U R right. That is true. Thanks for the input Katie! :thumbsup:

auburnchick
06-05-2007, 05:27 PM
Oh boy...a topic right UP my alley! I :heart: technology!!!

Ok. My dh bought me the HP iPAQ hx2495 (http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/storefronts/handhelds/1/storefronts/FA674B%2523ABA;HHOJSID=hg0NGlTGN7JmxTLGqkbMwTsmvx5 7Jw1dTwRhxznbC2jttcK2hvfc%21-551938011) PDA two Christmas' ago. I :heart: it.

It hot-synchs with my PC. It does have Bluetooth, which I know you said you don't want, but you never know when you'll need it. It has a wireless network card, so I can get online in hotspots. Very handy. Especially when I need a quick KH fix. ;)

Oh, and you can buy SD cards, and with an SD card reader easily transfer files back and forth between other computers (you can only set up hot synch for one computer). SD cards are the way to go so you don't use up all of the space on the gadget's hard drive. Most cases have places built in to hold the SD cards.

It has Windows Mobile, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Of course, you can't get too fancy in these programs, but they are do-able.

I keep soccer phone rosters (Excel files) on it and have no problems reading or amending them. I really do love the ability to synch it with Outlook too. When I'm at the doctor, I can easily see what's on my schedule six months from now...

Anyhow, this is just my recommendation! Unless you go with something like a PDA/cell phone, which I'm probably going to do next year...when I've graduated from college and am making the big $$. :teehee:

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 05:48 PM
Thank you very much Auburnchick! :muah: I appreciated the link, too.
I briefly looked at the specs for it...but will read more in depth later.

I know what you mean about bluetooth. My DELL laptop has bluetooth capability. I added it in when I bought this laptop...cuz ya never know. I have not used it. Hmmm...Well, am I using it (???)when I take my laptop to an art show...and grab the householder's wireless internet signal? Or their neighbor's internet signal?

Funny thing...one art show I did...I had SIX internet signals to chose from! The householder I was visiting had a secure wireless internet signal...but I told her not to bother giving me access to hers...I would just hop onto her neighbor's signal! FYI: I don't use my administrator account for this kind of internet access. I have set up a GUEST account, with absolutely nothing in it except the big blue E for internet.

Sounds like your PDA is just the ticket!

Hmmm, I did not realize that cellphones have PDA capabilities. I recently upgraded to the Verizon Cherry Chocolate. I had the option at the time of getting the BlackBerry, or other upline phones, for a very reasonable upcharge. Hmmm. I don't remember seeing their PDA capabilities. Darn. :pout:

Well, thanks again! I will give more serious thought to the hot-sync features. It sounds good! I love devices that allow for the SD card insertion. My DELL laptop has that capability...and gee whiz! Does it ever make for quick photo downloading! No pain! And when we are on vacation...every night my DH wants us to look over the day's photos on this laptop!

I also use several San disk "cruzer" thumb drives. That is also a great way to save files and transfer files back and forth.

Say, does your PDA accept a USB instrument? Is there a USB port on it somewhere?

Also, Auburnchick, what method do you use for controlling your usernames and passwords? Do you save them on your PDA? If so, are you ever worried about being hacked, that someone will make off with this critical information?

kellyh57
06-05-2007, 05:49 PM
I 2nd the Ipaq recommendation. I'm on mt 2nd or 3rd and I LOVE them. My last one was lost in my parent's recliner couch for about a year. If I could find all the parts I tossed or lost when I thought it was stolen at work, I'd sell it. I got one as a hand-me-down from my husband when he was rewarded one at work and got rid of my Palm ASAP! (This was at least 5 yrs ago so I'm sure they've changed some since then!)

Definitely get one with a card. I back mine up there every now and then on there too. My ONLY complaint with it is that the stylus falls out really easily! I have to keep it in it's case upside down, but it still falls out when I'm pulling it out sometimes.

auburnchick
06-05-2007, 05:57 PM
My PDA does NOT have a usb port on it. It connects to the computer through a cradle that has a usb port on one end.

You know, I might go back to Verizon and ask them about changing your plan, if you find you really are interested.

Here (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/verizonwireless/default.mspx) is one link I quickly found. It's a Microsoft site that shows several Verizon Smartphones. Here's (http://estore.vzwshop.com/search/devices/pda.html) another link (actual Verizon site) showing more phones.

The only thing I don't like about the PDA is that it is one MORE thing to carry in my purse! That's why I'm giving serious thought to buying a smartphone next go around. The only downside is that my monthly Sprint bill will go up because I'll be paying for internet service on the phone. I think it will be worth it because my Booga bag doesn't seem to like carrying too much stuff. ;)

Oh, and passwords...

I don't have my passwords written down anywhere, and I have a bunch. I tend to use the same two or three at different sites. I just started a new job that ASSIGNS passwords, so that's one more I'll throw into the rotation.

I'm a little scared of putting the passwords anywhere because anyone can hack into them.

I don't know how many you actually have, but one suggestion might be to change them all to the same thing, then once every couple of months, change the "master" password. Depending on how many passwords you have, this could be cumbersome.

Or, you could do something like this...all of your bills/banking sites have the same passwords...your web forum sites have a different password, yada, yada, yada. That way you have the same password for the same "type" of logon or site. If that makes sense.

I think that this is a problem we all struggle with, so there's just no easy answer.

Let me know what you decide on your PDA!!!

auburnchick
06-05-2007, 06:03 PM
Definitely get one with a card. I back mine up there every now and then on there too. My ONLY complaint with it is that the stylus falls out really easily! I have to keep it in it's case upside down, but it still falls out when I'm pulling it out sometimes.

Thinking along the lines of a smartphone...

The newer phones are using micro-SD cards. They come with a special reader thing that you stick the card into and then put into the reader itself (since the card is so small).

For Christmas, my in-laws got me a 2gb (yes, you're reading that correctly) micro-SD card for the new phone I had just purchased in November (Sprint's Fusic). The phone plays music, which takes up mega space. The 2gb card holds quite a bit of music. I'm quite happy with it. You can find cards on Ebay and other good, discounted computer retailers.

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 06:09 PM
Hi Nathalie! Hi Kelly! :waving:

I thank you for your time and input. I will let you know what I decide upon. One thing about me...I make it a "study" when I springboard into another piece of technology. I think the reason why the PDA capabilities of the BlackBerry (etc) went right over my head...is that I was not looking for it. :pout:

I will call my Verizon guy and ask him about my upgrade possiblities at this point...although Natalie, your HP iPaq PDA sounds and looks like it is much more useful in many more ways than an "all-in-one".

All-in-one, master-at-none? :teehee:

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 06:12 PM
Thinking along the lines of a smartphone...

The newer phones are using micro-SD cards. They come with a special reader thing that you stick the card into and then put into the reader itself (since the card is so small).

For Christmas, my in-laws got me a 2gb (yes, you're reading that correctly) micro-SD card for the new phone I had just purchased in November (Sprint's Fusic). The phone plays music, which takes up mega space. The 2gb card holds quite a bit of music. I'm quite happy with it. You can find cards on Ebay and other good, discounted computer retailers.

HEY GUESS WHAT!!?? My Verizon Cherry Chocolate has a microSD slot! Hmmm...will it hold an Excel doc? Hmmm, don't know how I would move the doc from point A to point B.

auburnchick
06-05-2007, 06:27 PM
Your phone probably came with a 64mb card. That's what all of our new phones came with. It doesn't hold much, but it would work for a few things.

Get a card reader...nearly any store carries them. You pop the sd card into the reader, and the reader pops into a usb port.

Go into File Explorer (my computer) and look for either E:\ or F:\. It will be obvious.

Just copy and paste your files. Or, while the file is open, do File, Save As, and select the location of the SD card.

Oh, and I really love my iPAQ. It's just with trying to carry a knitting bag, college books, purse, and cell phone...yikes! I'm getting to where I want an all-in-one.

ArtLady1981
06-05-2007, 07:56 PM
Yes, I went to MY COMPUTER...and with my SD memory card in the slot...and my SanDisk Cruzer one of the USB ports...MY COMPUTER shows C:Local Disk / D: DVD/RW drive / E: Kodak / F:U3System / G:Removable Disk!

F & G are co-related to the SanDisk Cruzer thumb drive.

I know what you mean about the card reader. I am going to need a card reader adapter soon. We want to buy a Cuddeback Trail Cam...which only houses CF memory cards...and my laptop only receives a SD card. We want to be able to use my laptop toview the bear and cougar shots whilst on our mountain property. There is a CF cardreader which will enable us to hook up with a USB port on the laptop. We can bypass the SD slot altogether.

So now you know I am going to try it out! I would love to be able to send that Yarn Stash Excel file to my cellphone and view my yarn stash data!

The Cherry Chocolate did not come with a microSD card installed. I didn't see one in the box either.

I wouldn't fool around with anything less than 1G if I purchase one.

All my camera SD cards are 2G...and my SanDisk Cruzers are 2G and 4G. So handy-dandy! Even the 512 MB thumb drives hold a surprising amount of data and photos!

auburnchick
06-05-2007, 08:27 PM
You can find card readers that read multiple types of cards.

Look at this (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1187796&CatId=942) link. TigerDirect is a great company to order from. This card reader is pretty inexpensive and can accommodate many types of cards.

Happy shopping!!!

ArtLady1981
06-06-2007, 02:39 AM
You can find card readers that read multiple types of cards.

Look at this (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1187796&CatId=942) link. TigerDirect is a great company to order from. This card reader is pretty inexpensive and can accommodate many types of cards.

Happy shopping!!!


Thanks! :happydance: You caught me just in time...why have 2 or 3 different card readers??? Der. I will definitely get it, as well as the SDmicro for my Cherry Chocolate.

I am going to Costco tomorrow to spend my $297 rebate...it is an American Express Costco rebate thing. Fun! I hope they carry that HP-iPaq 2495 that you have! How sweeet to get almost $300 off! :happydance: Well, we'll see. Maybe they will have the microSD card, too.

Today the UPS dude delivered a neat gadget! Instead of ordering yet another camcorder battery...at $80 a pop...I got a TurboCharger for the two batteries I already have! I can plug the TurboCharger into my husbands generator...and juice them up in one hour's time.

We have 20 acres ON TOP of Nighthawk Summit in the Northeasten Washington wilderness...no electricity, no water, no nothin. Just wind, air and sun...birds, bees, bears, cougars, coyotes, eagles, nighthawks, ravens, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, moose, and the clickety-click of my knitting needles! I will now be able to film as many hours as need be!

Thanks again to all of your help EVERYONE! :cheering::muah::hug:

marykz
06-06-2007, 08:46 AM
such pretty pictures..... how lucky you are! :)

Dangles
06-06-2007, 02:24 PM
Artlady, check epinions.com as well for consumer overviews and you can compare various PDAs that you are eyeing.

Jeremy
06-06-2007, 04:10 PM
Just one bit of advice that is sort of related. If you can buy a metal case for it, do so. My first one (or two:oops:) were put out of commission by drops, dings etc. I finally learned my lesson and this one has lasted a good while.

ArtLady1981
06-06-2007, 04:18 PM
Jeremy and Dangles! Thanks for your input! I am on my way to COSTCO now...and will check out what they have...and the prices.

auburnchick
06-06-2007, 06:40 PM
Waiting for a status on what you found...

ArtLady1981
06-06-2007, 08:56 PM
Waiting for a status on what you found...

Thanks so much for your continuing interest! :muah:

At COSTCO...I found a 2G microSD card for my Cherry Chocolate.
It came with a normal SD sized "adapter". Plug the itty bitty SD card into it...and then I can insert the unit into my laptop's SD card slot.

I did so a moment ago...and the laptop recognized it as Removable Drive E: (!)

I sent a WORD doc to it...put the microSD into my Cherry Chocolate...and am now going to see what shows up...if I can read a WORD doc on the cellphone screen. Here goes....just a sec....

darn...I can't find a way to open it. The cellphone recognizes the 192KB memory storage for the card...but no way to open the doc.

Well, after all, it is a cellphone, not a PDA.

COSTCO does not carry PDA's at the store...only through COSTCO.COM

After doing "the COSTCO"...I was too tired to go anywhere else. Tomorrow is another day. Have several errands to run...and Office Depot, etc. will definitely be a stop.

We are leaving for a week in the wilderness on Sat at noon...so for the week after that...I will be off the grid with no internet access. :pout:

Am going to www.costco.com (http://www.costco.com) now! Let ya know what I sees. :eyebrow:

Knitting_Guy
06-06-2007, 09:06 PM
The iPAQ and palm series devices are very good. You really can't go wrong with either one. I am more partial to the HP devices simply because HP supports Linux more than most vendors, but for your needs either would be worth the money.

Shandeh
06-06-2007, 11:12 PM
Just one bit of advice that is sort of related. If you can buy a metal case for it, do so. My first one (or two:oops:) were put out of commission by drops, dings etc. I finally learned my lesson and this one has lasted a good while.

Jeremy, I have a differing opinion on the case. I used to store my Sony Clie in a metal case, and when I accidentally dropped it, the screen cracked. I now keep my new PDA in a leather case, because it absorbs the shocks of accidental dropping better.

auburnchick
06-06-2007, 11:15 PM
ArtLady,

Your phone couldn't read the file because you don't have Word loaded on the phone. You're gonna have to splurge for the smartphone or PDA. But I'm glad you found the SD card!!!!!

As far as cases, my dh bought me a generic one from an electronics store. It's got a good cushion and zips up. You could always add a bit of extra padding inside if you were concerned.

Happy Shopping! :clink:

ArtLady1981
06-06-2007, 11:56 PM
:pout:ArtLady,

Your phone couldn't read the file because you don't have Word on the phone. You're gonna have to splurge for the smartphone or PDA. But I'm glad you found the SD card!!!!!

As far as cases, my dh bought me a generic one from an electronics store. It's got a good cushion and zips up. You could always add a bit of extra padding inside if you were concerned.

Happy Shopping! :clink:
Ya know....I knew that.:pout: I know I knew that...:pout:

Yup, even on a regular computer...if ya don't have WORD installed on it...ya can't open a WORD doc! Der.

But, that said...even if I had WORD on this cellphone...there was just no link or button or access whatsoever to open anything except downloaded music, pix, flix, etc.

Yup, Ima just gonna have to spring the cash for a PDA.

Incidentally, COSTCO.com does have the HP iPaq...both the 2495 for $350 and the hx2795b for $450.

I must do some deep:eyes: breathing...and assess my "use factor" for either of these versions. Lemme give it 7-10 days. I will be leaving Sat the 9th...be back Sun the 17th.

I will keep in touch throughout this week til Fri night. :muah:

Shandeh
06-07-2007, 03:53 AM
I use "Documents to Go" on my PDA, and I'm able to access Word and Excel documents with no problem at all.

auburnchick
06-07-2007, 04:35 PM
ArtLady, have you tried checking out Ebay? You might find a better deal there. I think my dh paid almost $600 when he bought mine. I'm sure the 2495 would more than meet your needs.

Did you ever go to the Verizon store???

Regardless, treat yourself...you deserve it. You're such a wonderful knitter...

Oh, and I would never call myself a techno enabler. :teehee:

KarenKlopfer
06-08-2007, 08:40 AM
I have an HP Ipac, and previously had an HP Jornado (no longer made). I love it.

I have one complaint. The Jornado had a great screen protector you can buy. My IPAC has these sheets that I find very difficult to put on correctly. With the stylus the screens tend to scratched up after a while.

One of the great uses is notes on all my knitting projects. I'm always making little changes in patterns and it's great for a portable way to keep track.

dakatzmeow
06-08-2007, 08:48 AM
i bought a refurbished ipaq and i love it. the only models i could find in bricks/mortar stores were very very basic palm models. not much to choose from. if you are an online shopper, you might try dell.com or hp.com. i got my refurbished one at franklincovey.com along with a leather case.

i really want to hot sync mine, but i can't seem to get it to work. need to see if i can find someplace online to help me with that. *scratches head*

Shandeh
06-08-2007, 12:35 PM
My hubby and I use Sony Clies. We really like them. Mine is a very basic model, and his has bells and whistles that I don't really need.

I got mine on eBay for less than 100 dollars, and we got his on clearance at Circuit City for about 300 I think. They each include an MP3 player, but we've never used them once. :rollseyes:

I guess we are a Sony Clie family, because all our kids have one too.
:teehee:

Our favorite thing on the Clie is the included Remote Control. It will control TVs, VCRs, Stereos....really ANYTHING with a remote control. I love it.

Funny thing....when we were at a restaurant one time, I programmed the TV with our remote, and it worked! :teehee:

hunterjenn
06-08-2007, 01:18 PM
K, I haven't read everyone else's suggestions yet, but I have an old PDA that came with a program called Documents to Go, and it saves copies of Word/Excel/etc. docs on the PDA. I used it to death!

Anyway, I just bought a new one a couple of days ago (Palm Z22), and it didn't come with the program, but you can purchase and download it for $29.99. It works great! It now syncs with PowerPoint and PDFs, too. :cheering: Super-cool!

ETA: Doh! Too late. And Sandy already mentioned it. :teehee: I was so excited to be helpful! :oops:

Shandeh
06-08-2007, 03:57 PM
Doh! Too late. And Sandy already mentioned it. :teehee: I was so excited to be helpful! :oops:
I'm sowwy I mentioned it first...:pout:
C'mere you....:hug:

hunterjenn
06-08-2007, 04:12 PM
:rofling::hug: Thanks, Sandy! :aww:

ArtLady1981
06-08-2007, 05:18 PM
EVERYONE: THANK YOU!

I am checking out all the links y'all have graciously contributed!
The only link I have left is EBAY. Will do that later.

I liked the idea about keeping track of knitting patterns and adjustments on the little PDA!

You wouldn't believe the loads of notebooks I have filled with pattern notes, adjustments, row-by-row/play-by-play!

I am going to be OFF THE GRID starting tomorrow. Off the the mountainous wilderness of Northeastern Washington for a week. :waving:

I will check-in with y'all on Monday June 18th...maybe even Sunday the 17th.

Shandeh
06-08-2007, 06:02 PM
Have fun! :muah:

ArtLady1981
06-08-2007, 06:15 PM
Have fun! :muah:

I will do that! I keep threatening to set up my tripod...and get a photo of myself...knitting away in the wilderness. But, I look like crap when I am camping. I can hardly stand to look at myself...let alone foist such an awful photo on y'all.

But, tell ya what...this coming week I will earnestly try to get a photo of this wilderness lady, knitting away:sun: xxx:sun:under the sun!

Maybe if I try early in the week....because I rapidly disintegrate as the days go by! :eyebrow:

Call me vain, go ahead! :doh:

Shandeh
06-08-2007, 06:54 PM
:note: You're so VAIN.....(so VAIN!) :note:
You probably think this song is about you
Don't you?! Don't you?!

:teehee:

auburnchick
06-08-2007, 07:12 PM
:roflhard::roflhard:

ArtLady1981
06-08-2007, 09:40 PM
:aww: this is me, "ohhhhh sooo vain....yup this song is about me, 'bout me! 'bout me!"

:waving:toodle-doo! til later! :sun:

Shandeh
06-08-2007, 10:14 PM
:muah: